Today is the eighth day of Arvind Kejriwal and his colleagues' protest at L-G Anij Baijal's residence seeking his help in ending the four-month-long 'strike' by bureaucrats who, he says are not listening to the ministers.
Hours after BJP’s Bihar ally Janata Dal (United) extended support to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the ruling dispensation’s oldest ally Shiv Sena also threw its weight behind the Aam Aamdi Party (AAP) leader’s demands including the grant of more power to the government in the Union Territory. Sena leader Sanjay Raut told news agency ANI that party chief Udhhav Thackeray has dialed CM Kejriwal to convey his support, adding that an elected government has full right to ‘work for its people’.
“The type of movement Arvind Kejriwal has started is a unique one. Uddhav Thackeray had a conversation with him and said that Kejriwal has the right to work for Delhi because they are the elected government,” Raut said.
“Whatever is happening to them, it is not good for democracy,” he added.
The development comes as a huge embarrassment to the BJP-led Centre which has so far not intervened into the ongoing standoff between Delhi CM Kejriwal and the L-G and chose to target the AAP calling its dharna a drama. Today is the eighth day of Kejriwal and his colleagues’ protest at L-G Anij Baijal’s residence seeking his help in ending the four-month-long ‘strike’ by bureaucrats who, he says are not listening to the ministers.
This is not the first time when the L-G and the Delhi CM has have found themselves locked in a bitter fight. In the last three years, the CM’s office and Raj Niwas witnessed several ups and downs over who has the final authority. Delhi is the national capital and a Union Territory. It is governed by an elected state government and Centre nominated Lieutenant Governor. Several departments like land, police, services come directly under the jurisdiction of the central ministries. This puts the national capital in a strange situation, resulting in the current crisis.
Kejriwal’s immediate demands include the Centre’s intervention to end the boycott of officers; action against officers who have hampered the governance in last four months; clearance to doorstep scheme of delivery of ration and full statehood for Delhi.
As far as full statehood for Delhi is concerned, it needs Constitutional amendments. The contentious issue has always figured in the manifestoes of all parties but the complexity of matter has not let governments take this forward.